03 May 2023
While there has been an overall reduction in the impact of terrorism globally, the African continent continues to withstand the worst of protracted violence and increasingly complex settings, becoming the new global epicenter of terrorism.
According to the 2023 Global Terrorism Index, Sub-Saharan Africa was the only region in the world to deteriorate, accounting for 60% of the terrorism deaths globally – with the Sahel alone recording an alarming 43% of global deaths from terrorism. Despite considerable efforts, the relative gains achieved through militarized approaches have not managed to stop the spiral of terrorism and violence in the region.
Egypt and the European Union, with the support from the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA) and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), organized an in-person side event prior to the 21st GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting to help bring forth real cases and challenges to the Forum, and work towards a sustainable, comprehensive approach to counterterrorism and the prevention of violent extremism.
Aligned with the Co-Chairs’ GCTF strategic priorities, the event enabled dialogue on the importance of comprehensive efforts to confront the ever-evolving terrorist threat in Africa and the role of community members in countering and preventing terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism, as well as criminal justice responses, with a special emphasis on the role of women as community leaders.
In various areas across the African continent, terrorist groups have taken advantage of socio-economic and political vacuums and further exploited existing grievances. Some of these groups have been able to assert their influence, mobilize and gain resources and recruit new members, effectively boosting their operational capacities and expanding their territorial bases. This has led to an increasingly adverse impact on populations in the region and, in particular, youth, women and girls, who remain at risk of being disproportionately targeted by terrorist groups, both as members and as victims.